Parking Spots

Growing up I often took little shopping trips with my grandmother, whom I fondly called Neenie. Her two favorite local spots were Piggly Wiggly and Belk. The woman loved Belk more than anyone I’ve ever known. But what I remember every time she chauffeured me around in her Lincoln was the way she would verbally thank the Lord for the parking spot she landed.

Now I know what you are thinking, why on earth would she pray about a parking spot? I thought that too for such a long time. But recently, I have found myself offering up a little word of thanks when I safely pull into a parking spot. I don’t know if Neenie was consciously thinking, “I am going to teach Becca to be thankful for even the small things when we go on errands together.” But whether she was thinking about it or not, her actions seeped into my life. Neenie passed along her habit of thanksgiving to me. I mirror her response to that life situation all of the time. She created in me a conscious acknowledgment of the goodness of God in something as small as having a place to park.

So often it seems we turn thanksgiving into something that must reach some certain level in order for it to be worthy of our mentioning it to God. I know in my own life many of the small, simple things (at least that’s how they are categorized in my mind) come and go without my ever even thinking of offering a word of thanks to the Lord. Our God is not one who requires a certain merit or status of an event or experience that we can speak with him about. He prefers to hear all of it. Even the tiniest things are worthy of acknowledging God’s presence in them with a quick moment of thanksgiving.

One of the things that strikes me most about these memories is that she said it aloud every time. It is totally possible for us to be thankful in our hearts and to share that with the Lord. Additionally, when we voice things aloud in the presence of other people we set ourselves in a position for the Lord to use us to impact someone else. Because Neenie made her thankfulness known to the Lord and invited me to be part of it by hearing her, I naturally do the same now. Even if I am by myself, I will thank the Lord verbally.

Your actions and habits of thankfulness not only breed greater love, affection for, and thanksgiving to God, but they might be building a foundation of thanksgiving in the life of someone around you. Our actions can be so contagious. In this season of thanksgiving, take notice of the small, simple things. Thank the Lord for those! Thank aloud when you are with others. Allow your habits of thanksgiving to seep into the lives of those around you. - Becca